Is it a coincidence that May's latest controversial announcement came straight after Paul Dacre's lavish 25th anniversary celebrations?by Patience Wheatcroft / November 11, 2017 / Leave a comment
The day after attending the lavish party to celebrate Paul Dacre’s 25 years as editor of the Daily Mail, Theresa May announced that she was enshrining Britain’s departure date from the EU in the legislation now going through Parliament. Perhaps the timing is mere coincidence but the prime minister listens to no one more intently than she listens to the man who, only last month in a Mail editorial, accused the Chancellor of “treachery.”
Her decision to party with the hard-right Dacre, just hours after a second Cabinet minister had resigned and her government appeared to be imploding, was a clear demonstration of how Mrs May is in thrall to—or in fear of—the tabloid. Her declaration the following day that at 11pm on March 29, 2019 the UK’s membership of the EU would end and she would not “tolerate” any attempt to block Brexit is exactly what Dacre would want to hear.
Yet it is complete madness. No judge would set a date for declaring a decree absolute in a divorce case before the terms of that divorce had been agreed. In the meantime, efforts to achieve a reconciliation can continue—for the sake of the children, perhaps.
The Prime Minister, however, is shrieking that Britain will leave, with or without a deal and the Daily Mail rejoices. It is “the will of the people,” runs the government mantra; but diving headlong into economic disaster was not what the public voted for in the referendum and is certainly not what they would vote for now. Day by day, the evidence mounts of how the UK is already losing jobs and investment because of the uncertainty caused by Brexit and the declaration of a deadline can only exacerbate that.
A tiny majority voted in favour of “taking back control” but, whatever their motivations then, the people of the UK are now losing control of the country’s future. Instead, it is being seized by a group of rabid Brexiteers intent on over-riding genuine democracy. They insist that the country is on a route from which there is no going back.
This madness cannot go unchallenged. Lord Kerr, the former UK ambassador to the EU, insists the public is being misled and the country could, if it wished, withdraw its notification to quit the EU under the Article 50 process. Since he was instrumental in…